Governor Jim Justice (R) and the West Virginia Department of Transportation recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for federal, state, and local officials – as well as local residents – to celebrate the grand opening of the 1,875-foot Wellsburg Bridge connecting the communities of Wellsburg, WV, and Brilliant, OH.
[Above photo by WVDOT]
“This is an incredible day for both Wellsburg and Brilliant because we are finally opening a bridge connecting these two communities that is long overdue,” Gov. Justice explained in a statement.
“This bridge is going to make life better for everyone who travels through West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle,” he added. “This is truly an incredible day, and I’m proud to see another bridge project across the finish line. The bridge might be in the Northern Panhandle, but this is a great day for all of West Virginia.”
Flatiron Construction – headquartered in Broomfield, CO – headed up the roughly $131 million contract to build the new 830-foot long bridge, with the main span built off-site on the bank of the Ohio River just upstream from the project site.
Construction on the new bridge began in 2018, with the 2021 installation of the 4,100-ton main span requiring 13 hours and two sets of barges – the heaviest bridge lift in North America at the time it occurred, WVDOT noted.
The agency added that the new bridge will drastically reduce travel time between the two communities, provide a new river crossing for commerce, spur economic development on both sides of the Ohio River, and provide another way across the river if work needs to be done on neighboring spans.
“Once again, the Governor here is to cut a ribbon on a project that has lingered and lingered and lingered,” noted WVDOT Secretary Jimmy Wriston. “He is a Governor who is transforming our economy, diversifying our economy, and building the infrastructure that West Virginians and Ohioans deserve and appreciate.”
“The construction of the Wellsburg Bridge will have a lasting impact for years and years to come,” added Tom Corey, a representative from the Ohio Department of Transportation, at the event. “Transportation is a vital aspect of our daily routines, and this project aligns with Ohio DOT’s mission to provide a transportation system that is safe, accessible, well-maintained, and positioned for the future,” he said.